Research

Fracking fears hit public trust in climate technologies – study

Public concerns about fracking have shaped opinion about new technologies regarded as vital to achieving UK climate targets, a new study has revealed.

Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road, 16 September 2019. Photo: Ros Wills

Researchers at Cardiff University found that controversies over fracking made people doubt the safety or effectiveness of techniques to remove carbon dioxide (CO2), such as bioenergy with carbon capture, direct air capture and enhanced weathering.

The study, published in the journal Risk Analysis, is based on focus groups held in Cardiff, Norwich and rural Norfolk to discover what people thought about carbon removal technologies.

The work was carried out before the government moratorium on fracking in England. This was imposed in November 2019, following earthquakes induced by fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire and is still in force.

Nearly two years ago, the government’s adviser on climate change, the Climate Change Committee, said carbon capture and storage was a necessity, not an option, for reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

“But they told us it was safe”

The study revealed a sense among participants that fracking advice had been shown to be “flawed or influenced by vested interests”. As a result, there was a lack of trust in assurances from experts, particularly on earthquakes. This was summed up by the phrase “but they told us it was safe”.

The researchers found:

  • Participants often mentioned fracking, unprompted, as an example of negative consequences of emerging technologies
  • The fracking controversy made people worry that scientists would be unable to predict and control risks in other techniques
  • There was a lack of trust in the abilities and motivations of scientists, experts and policymakers on CO2 removal, particularly if they downplay risk

The study concluded:

“Our results indicate that perceptions of fracking may have impacted attitudes to non‐fracking technologies, in communities spatially and socially distant from any shale industry activity.

“Individuals with no direct experience of the fracking controversy used its negative connotations to draw similar negative conclusions about CO2 removal technologies, despite the fact that (technically speaking) the similarities between fracking and the three technologies we discussed are very limited.”

Participants felt strongly that decision-making on fracking in the UK was unfair, the study found. A government minister overturned the local refusal of planning permission to Cuadrilla, the only company to carry out high volume hydraulic fracturing in the UK.

The researchers said:

“this impacted how they felt about the potential for adequate procedural justice for other technologies.”

The researchers concluded that a lack of social licence to operate for the UK fracking industry contributed to delays and the moratorium. They said:

“policy should be extremely wary of similar effects extending to other technologies.”

They recommended:

  • Experts, developers, and industry should take people’s concerns seriously
  • As a priority, the planning process should be perceived to be fair
  • Public concerns should influence the development of technologies and policy
  • Communities should be “given genuine voice in consultation over issues that affect them”

“There is also a need to ensure that people do not feel as if risks are being managed and communicated by vested interests, or that solutions are being imposed from above onto unwilling and ignored communities.”

On CO2 removal, they advised:

[scientists, developers, industry and government] “should not assume that simply downplaying or obscuring risks is the pragmatic route to take, even though this might seem tempting where scientific uncertainty still exists.”

But They Told Us It Was Safe! Carbon Dioxide Removal, Fracking, and Ripple Effects in Risk Perceptions
Emily Cox, Nick Pidgeon, Elspeth Spence
Risk Analysis
2 March 2021

31 replies »

  1. Seems a bit odd, when the research also shows that around two thirds showed no inclination to be against fracking itself.

    • The truth however, is quite different.

      Extract From:-
      “But They Told Us It Was Safe! Carbon Dioxide Removal, Fracking, and Ripple Effects in Risk Perceptions”
      Emily Cox, Nick Pidgeon, Elspeth Spence
      Risk Analysis
      2 March 2021

      5 CONCLUSION

      “This article has suggested that controversies around fracking in the United Kingdom have led to second‐ and third‐order social amplification of risk, whereby heightened risk perceptions have extended via “ripple effects” across spatial scales and across technologies.”

      “We reported the results from a series of deliberative workshops designed to elicit public attitudes to CO2 removal using negative emissions technologies (NETs).”

      “During the course of these workshops, we noticed that fracking was mentioned unprompted in all groups in relation to the risks of the CO2 removal technologies participants were deliberating. Other analogies were at times utilized to discuss NETs in the workshops, including plastic and nuclear waste (Cox et al., 2020).”

      “However, when discussing risks to ecosystems and the underground, and participants’ distrust of scientific assurances, fracking was the common analogy utilized across all groups. Our in‐depth secondary analysis of this theme in our workshop data showed that this was influenced by deeper misgivings regarding the actions and motives of scientists, experts, and policymakers. This discourse, which can be characterized as “but they told us it was safe,” could have a negative impact on people’s trust in assurances of the safety and efficacy of CO2 removal proposals.”

      “Very few empirical papers on social amplification of risk explore ripple effects to other technologies, yet this will be important if our interconnected energy and climate systems are to be transformed in a sustainable way and underlines the importance of taking a whole systems view when assessing the risks and benefits of technologies and policies. Energy policy making in particular is frequently siloed, yet all policy making should assume that action regarding one technology will impact others (Cox, Royston, & Selby, 2019). A lack of social license to operate was instrumental in causing severe delays, cost overruns, and eventually a moratorium for the U.K. fracking industry, hence policy should be extremely wary of similar effects extending to other technologies.”

      “Trust, once lost, is not easily regained (Lofstedt, 2015). One proposed resolution here would be for experts, developers, and industry to take people’s concerns seriously, and as a priority ensure that planning procedures are perceived to be fair (Boudet, 2019; Freudenburg, 2003). There is also a need to ensure that people do not feel as if risks are being managed and communicated by vested interests, or that solutions are being imposed from above onto unwilling and ignored communities. Williams et al. (2017) demonstrate that some of the problems facing public perceptions of fracking in the United Kingdom stemmed from industry and government assumptions that people’s concerns are a product of ignorance, and therefore led to an ineffective focus on providing more technology‐centric “facts.” Bradshaw and Waite (2017) suggested that U.K. shale gas could fail in the same way as genetically modified food, a claim which appears rather prescient in light of the recent moratorium. It also raises significant questions for the future of other technologies which become associated in the public mind.
      Reversal of stigmatization, once in place, may be difficult or unlikely (Thomson, 2015).”

      “The recent retraction of U.K. policy support for fracking, as a direct result of public concerns, suggests that fracking will be, at the very least, on pause for the foreseeable future. Therefore the more interesting question raised by this article is, how to address ripple effects in order to prevent similar risk amplification occurring in other technologies such as CO2 removal? Here we would argue that actors with an interest in CO2 removal (including scientists, developers, industry, and government) should not assume that simply downplaying or obscuring risks is the pragmatic route to take, even though this might seem tempting where scientific uncertainty still exists (Leiss, 2003). Rather, engaging with lay publics early on in technology development using principles of “upstream engagement,” opening up development processes so that more diverse stakeholders are included and problem framings considered, and ensuring that communities are given genuine voice in consultation over issues that affect them, have all been recommended as effective methods to increase the legitimacy, efficacy, and ethicality of technology development and deployment (Bellamy et al., 2016; Chilvers & Kearnes, 2016; Fiorino, 1990; Rogers‐Hayden & Pidgeon, 2016; Stirling, 2008).”

      “There are signs that this is being recognized, with increasing pressure from research funders to incorporate public engagement into scientific programs, through programs of responsible research and innovation (Owen, Bessant, & Heintz, 2013). Yet the real challenge will be to ensure that this generates a genuine two‐way dialogue process, in which public concerns are fed into and influence the development of technologies and their associated policies. Importantly for CO2 removal technologies, this process does not stop at early R&D: technologies and policies co‐evolve over time, and the sociopolitical context will be at least as important for determining public attitudes as the technology per se (Bellamy et al., 2019). This means that policy will need to remain flexible and responsive to public concerns throughout, as well as sensitive to the power dynamics involved in risk amplification and its secondary impacts. Actors and interests seeking to downplay or ignore risks will sometimes have a disproportionate ability to influence, and our results highlight the fact that publics are aware and distrusting of this. It is only by acknowledging and attempting to mitigate for such power dynamics, for instance by increasing transparency and supporting principles of responsible innovation, that we might hope to minimize the unintended impacts of risk amplification on the transition to a net zero world.”

      Perhaps it would be better to actually read the text of the referenced link to the document, rather than jump to assumptions and erronous excited speculations.

    • From Damian Kahya@Unearthed

      “Morning!

      I’m reading about… alternatives.

      The Guardian has two good pieces worth your attention this morning, both on the theme of how to get out of this mess (the climate one mostly, but y’know, it all feels linked right now).

      The first suggests a weirdly novel idea – just banning fossil fuels. It’ makes the point that when the world has faced environmental crises in the past – think leaded petrol, CFCs – it didn’t deal with it by offsetting and cap and trade.

      You couldn’t fill your car up with petrol that made people sick whilst purchasing a “lead neutral” offset whereby you pay for a hospital for victims of lead poisoning somewhere else. That wasn’t a thing.

      No, we just banned them. Roland Geyer argues that – by all logic – that is what needs to happen now with fossil fuels noting that, across sectors,” the substitutes for fossil fuels not only exist but are also cost-competitive.” Think battery technology, air-source heat pumps, etc.
      It’s unavoidable: we must ban fossil fuels to save our planet. Here’s how we do it

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/09/its-unavoidable-we-must-ban-fossil-fuels-to-save-our-planet-heres-how-we-do-it

      Sure, you wouldn’t ban it tomorrow – just like you didn’t with lead petrol or CFC’s. You’d announce when it will be banned in each sector, and you’d deploy policies to support the switch. Instead of leaving science up to the market – good for traders bad for everyone else – you’d have policy, investment and economic certainty, which, in turn, tends to spur jobs, innovation and guaranteed emissions reductions. It’s a logic that, in my view, goes beyond fossil fuels.

      So that’s one side, the other side are the kinds of solutions which – unlike complex open-ended trading schemes – do work. The Guardian reports on a study from the IPPR thinktank found that community projects, often set up with the primary aim of reducing poverty and improving people’s day-to-day lives, were also reducing emissions and restoring nature varying from social housing to repair cafes, renewable projects and schemes to reclaim derelict land.

      How grassroots schemes across UK are tackling climate crisis

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/10/study-highlights-under-the-radar-uk-community-projects-green-benefits

      Luke Murphy, the lead author of the report, said: “Under the radar there are already flourishing and transformative community initiatives to pool resources and create shared low-carbon energy, housing and natural assets … These groups have shown that they can increase community wealth and create thriving places while addressing the climate crisis.”

      What is needed to make more of these happen? Devolved power and funding to local regions, according to the think tank. “These groups have shown that they can increase community wealth and create thriving places while addressing the climate crisis,” said Murphy. “Now the government needs to act to enable all communities to have meaningful control of how their area adapts and benefits from the transition to net zero.”

    • More From Damian Kahya@Unearthed

      “China turns its back on Bangladesh BRI coal projects: China has told Bangladesh it will not fund coal mines and polluting power plants, as Beijing took the first tentative steps towards fulfilling its promises of sustainable Belt and Road investment, the FT reports.
      China turns its back on Bangladesh BRI coal projects

      https://www.ft.com/content/30840645-58d2-4da5-be05-f476623677d2

      Giant wind turbine factor to be built in UK: GE Renewable Energy will create as many as 750 new jobs in northeast England with a new factory that will make hundreds of giant blades destined for wind turbines in the North Sea.
      GE Will Build Giant Wind Turbine Blades in Northeast England

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-10/ge-will-build-giant-wind-turbine-blades-in-northeast-england?sref=xpkx9tNh

      HSBC bank shuts of coal funding: HSBC has yielded to pressure from environmental campaigners and agreed to set itself firm deadlines to phase out future funding for the vast bulk of the coal industry.

      HSBC bows to green lobby and shuts off coal funding

      https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/hsbc-bows-to-green-lobby-and-shuts-off-coal-funding-m7kmvlv9s

      Reuters reveals scale of BP’s profits from energy trading: The company may be aiming to produce less oil and gas itself, but it is still looking to make lots of money by trading in our addiction to it. BP’s trading arm made nearly $4 billion in 2020, according to a copy of an internal BP presentation seen by Reuters, almost equalling the record trading profit in 2019 despite the collapse in oil demand caused by the pandemic. It benefits from its position as both a producer and trader. Buying up oil when it is cheap – for example – storing it and then re-selling it when the price goes up. In the long term the firm also wants to be a major trader in electricity.

      Exclusive: BP bets on energy trading to fund strategy shift after bumper year

      https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-bp-trading-exclusive-idUSKBN2B30GU

        • PhilC missed this article when he was catching up with the Guardian:

          https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/mar/10/china-leads-world-increase-wind-power-capacity-windfarms

          Being the Guardian of course they decided not to use a headline from the content further down the article:

          “A separate report, by US campaigners at Global Energy Monitor, found that China had also built almost two-thirds of the world’s operating coal power plants.

          In the first six months of last year, China was the site of almost 90% of all coal plants under construction, and home to half the world’s operating coal-fired electricity capacity, according to the report.

          China’s president, Xi Jinping, surprised UN delegates last year by announcing that the world’s fastest-growing economy would ensure that its emissions peaked within the next five years and declined to net zero by 2060.

          But experts have warned that China’s 14th five-year plan, published this month, could lead to a rise in greenhouse gas emissions after it gave few details on how the world’s biggest emitter would meet its new climate targets.”

          • Sorry Paul Tresto, I just got told off by a couple of friends e-mails, who said I was too harsh on you. Perhaps paranoia is endemic in this insane situation we all find ourselves in. I should be more careful what I say.

            I withdraw the word paranoid. Sorry about that.

            When I think about it more carfully, I saw why I was so harsh, and why you got the sticky end of the stick. It has a lot to do with news from my friends in Hong Kong and the terrible oppression they are under from the CCP.

            I dont count the CCP as representative of the Hong Kongers or of the Chinese people in general. Any more than the nazis (national socialists) were representative of Germans. Nazism began in America by the way. Americans arent represented by nazis either. Or that any dictators are representative of their own people. I could use other analagies, but best left alone…..

            So, when I see the word “Chinese” used as a generalisation against the entire race, my anger tends to rise. I wont use the word “racist” because I’m sure you didnt mean it that way, but you see what I mean. I have friends and relatives in Hong Kong, and further into China. Though I dont hear from anyone in China anymore.

            Its not the Chinese race that are committing so many atrocities around the world. Its the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP, that you are talking about in your Guardian link. The people in China either obey orders or they disappear. Martin made the same mistake, deliberately or otherwise, in attempting to misrepresent what I did actually say, but that is not unusual from that direction.

            So, yes i’m sorry to have insulted you Paul Tresto. But you may perhaps appreciate, that some of the intensly combative and frankly polarising weaponised posts on Drill or Drop. Are little more than thinly veiled insults. No names, no frack drill.
            It is sometimes difficult to remain calm and collected, though I do try, but like everyone else on Drill or Drop, i’m only human. As are you.

            I hope you will accept my apology and we can treat eachother with respect even though we find ourselves on opposite sides, whether we like that situation or not.

            Time to change the atmosphere on Drill or Drop and put it back on a relatively stable basis perhaps.

            I hope you will accept that.

            • Hi PhilC – no need to apologise but thank you. As you say, we are all human. Sorry to hear about the issues your friends are having in Hong Kong. It is frustrating and sad to see what is happening there. Same with Myanmar and many other countries. We are lucky to live in a democracy albeit an imperfect one – is there an example of a perfect democracy?

              I worked in, and travel to, Africa a lot. I was working in Angola for a couple of months based in the capital, Luanda and was amazed at what I saw. There was a huge construction site opposite the building I was based in and all the labour were Chinese. The unemployment figures for Angola at that time were over 50%. I have seen the same in other countries including Sudan where an 1,600km oil pipeline was constructed – apparently by Chinese labour – I was told prisoners but cannot confirm that. Large parts of Africa appear to be taking Chinese money for CAPEX projects but having to utilise Chinese labour. A different Colonial era…..

              • Hi Paul, thanks. I cant say much about my friends and relatives in Hong Kong or in mainland China for various reasons, but I feel helpless to do anything about it. When I think of how welcoming and open the families were that I met there and what they are going through now, I must admit I get angry.
                My Bad.
                Yes, I didnt ever get to see much of Africa apart from a one week trip to the Kilimanjaro reserve. I envy you your travels there. I loved being in Africa no matter how short the stay. So I didnt get to see Angola or Sudan.
                But it doesnt sound like the Chinese labourers are treated any better anywhere does it?
                The Chinese people have an amazing spirit, a long history of cultural development far exceeding our own. I was introduced to many things, from Buddhism to Taoism, Confusiunism (Kong Qiu or K’ung Fu-tzu. litterly Kung Fu!) I was once told that the name Hong Kong was also derived from K’ung Fu-tzu. I later found they had been pulling my gullible gwailo (white ghost) westerners leg. Hong Kong actually comes from a phonetic westerner translation of the city’s Cantonese name (Heung Gong), which literally means “Fragrant Harbour”. Unfortunately “fragrant harbour” wasnt exactly the case while I was there! We were lucky, we stayed in Discovery Bay over the water from the mainland and took the Star ferry every morning and back. Good times.

                But I know what you mean about the way Chinese labour is, and was treated. There was an explosion in the expansion phase of a Saudi treatment plant while we were billited about 20 miles away. I remember seeing the night sky lit up and the sound of distant explosions. We all thought it was some sort celebration display. But it was an accident. The official story was that two westerners had died. It wasnt until later I was told by one of the engineers, that there were many Chinese and Indian labourers killed too. I never found out exactly how many, it was dangerous to enquire.

                I wish I had a chance to go to Africa again, but then I went to work in HK and met my wife to be there, and holidays were back to UK until we returned to England after HK became fully Chinese territory.

                I really dont know what will happen in Hong Kong now. I wake up sometimes from dreams of how it was, and then I remember how it is now.

                Thanks again anyway. I shall try to remain in K’ung Fu-tzu mindfulness from now on!

            • Surprise, surprise, PhilC, I also have friends in Hong Kong, and other friends in mainland China studying, so I do recognise what you posted. However, even those friends are no longer able to reflect their previous views and actions, so, unfortunately I see them either becoming controlled by the State, or leaving. Some left previously.

              When Hong Kong was returned to China I always saw it as an unavoidable gamble. The hope was that communism would become less controlling in China and then the democracy in Hong Kong would maintain over time. Indeed, much of the messaging from China encouraged that belief, as did the messaging from the UK..

              So, yes, I do then point out the difficulty in respect of climate change to then believe any new messaging and Paul has done the same. It is simply the old adage of fool me once etc. etc, yet there do seem to be a lot of people wanting to risk being fooled multiple times, following huge amounts being spent lobbying them to do so. I will believe it when I see it. And until it is seen, the maths. indicate that the story about UK taking the lead and others will follow, is false and irrelevant. Politically, that may still be the message. But, I see it as an unfortunate truth for the antis, one they can do little about but I fear it will historically be seen to be the truth. Not that the politicians will be worried about that. They will be long gone.

              It may mean that links to certain speculative messaging either from politicians, or activist organisations, will be doubted by myself against such a background. Not a cynical person, but not that gullible, either.

              • Hi Martin, thanks for your comment. I’m not surprised you also have friends in Hong Kong, many people do. I also know some local families that emigrated to UK on British passports who have relatives and friends there too. Communication between HK and UK has become intermittent and now quite rare. Unfortunately what little news does manage to emerge is not good.

                “Britain first took over Hong Kong island in 1842, after defeating China in the First Opium War. After the Second Opium War, Beijing was forced to also cede Kowloon in 1860, the area on the mainland opposite the island.
                In 1898, to enforce its control of the area, the UK leased additional land, known as the New Territories, promising to return them to China in 99 years. That ended on July 1st 1997, and the 20th anniversary was on July 1st 2017.”

                So the British presence in Hong Kong was not of the highest ethical or moral order historically, but for the time that HK was under British soveriegnty, at least the HKers were relatively free to go about their business and international commerce was very much in evidence. I was there for work on the new international airport built on reclaimed land on the island of Chek Lap Kok and the bridge to the mainland.

                “China agreed to govern Hong Kong under the principle of “one country, two systems”, where the city would enjoy “a high degree of autonomy, except in foreign and defence affairs” for the next 50 years.
                Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region. This means it has:
                its own legal system
                multiple political parties
                rights including freedom of assembly and free speech
                The territory has its own mini-constitution to enshrine these special rights.
                Called the Basic Law, it states that “the ultimate aim” is to elect the territory’s leader, the chief executive, “by universal suffrage” and “in accordance with democratic procedures”.

                https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-40426827

                As you know that 50 year promise was never really delivered in practice. And that is where HK is now. Under total CCP control without any say in its own “autonomy” anymore.

                As regards the issue of climate change, I fully appreciate that any move away from fossil fuels is tricky and difficult considering how deep and fundamental the dependence on fossil fuels have become for worldwide economies and production of goods.

                As I have said several times, I am not an “anti” of any description. The word “anti” is unspecific for one thing, “anti what”? Its a negative. Nothing can be defined by a negative description. Except perhaps “negative charge” meaning the opposite of a “positive charge” in electricity. Or “anti matter” or “dark energy” even “black holes” in astrological physics? For example? I am a “pro” for life and the planets ecology, its climate and the survival for everyone and everything that has only the Earth’s eco-systems in its truest state to be alive at all.

                if we can at least minimise our unfortunate habit of treating everything on the Earth as some sort of profitable commodity to be exploited and discarded, and instead begin to rebuild the Earths ecological systems and climate by changing our ways, no matter how painful that may be in the short term, then I see nothing but the oft repeated phrase of a “win win” result from that for everyone and everything.

                I see nothing wrong with UK taking the lead, particularly as COP26 is coming up in Glasgow and we should have something to show for it. There are always excuses not to of course. However, at the end of the excuses and prevarications not to do much at all. The inevitable question that does arise, Is that if not UK, then who? If not now, then when? If not because its too expensive, or that its too difficult? Then if we show that inability to come to terms with our own promises to everyone? Who will take up the renewable torch and run with it? And then who will we have to pay if we havent done the necessary work to become world leaders ourselves?

                Russia?

                China?

                Worse?

                You see the problem? And so do I.

                • Yes, I see the problem, PhilC. However, in terms of UK being a global power, Hong Kong shows we are not that able to alter what the real global powers do. Boris will try at COP26 and I am sure there will be loads of warm support, but I have doubts it will be realised by those who will make the big difference.

                  It is the something (environmental) needs to be done bit that I find an issue. The something seems as individual as those individuals interested. When something is done, then either the original individuals state it is not to their liking, or new individuals emerge to do the same. I just find that all counter productive, as many undecided will just decide whatever individual actions they take will not be enough, so they will do nothing.

                  If I look at one small sector, UK agriculture, there are the vast majority involved who have a real and very knowledgeable love of the environment. Yet, whatever they do, they are regaled by some who claim to be Green but are far less environmentally aware than those they regale, and not that green really. That creates a negative tension where there doesn’t need to be one.

                  And, sorry to return to it, but local sourcing is much loved by agriculture and promoted for very good environmental reasons, but if the same is done regarding fossil fuel, then suddenly it is taboo. That defies common sense and whilst that may not be too common, it should IMO be the guide, not dogma. “Keeping it in the ground” is fake maths. Every company I have worked for that exports product has not kept producing that product if it loses an overseas customer. With luck, and hard work, it may find another customer elsewhere, but it does not keep producing and stacking in the warehouse.

                • I dont agree Martin. But of course we know that. As I said before, we have already been warned by scientists and ecologists, environmentalists and entymologists, doctors, physicians and experts in their field, that the sixth extinction event in history is well underway. That one in five deaths are due to fossil fuel pollution and that the climate is deteriorating to an alarming degree and getting worse.

                  If UK takes an upper hand in developing and using new technologies and methods of returning to a to more symbiotic relationship with nature and the planets ecology and climate. And change our reliance on fossil fuels to alternative, less harmful methods of energy production and use. No matter how difficult that will be in the short term. Then we will be in the very enviable position of being a world leader and to sell that new technology to the rest of the world.

                  If the UK doesnt do it, then someone else will. As I’ve already said, they may be far worse than the short term inconvenience of change in the UK now.

                  If the UK take advantage of this short time of opportunity, we will again be a world power, and it wont be through domination, war and conflict, it will be through peace and co-operation, leadership and example. It could change UK and then maybe the world out of our present plunge into war and conflict, exploitation greed and corruption into something we can at last be proud of.

                  If we pass up the chance then we will be at the mercy of those who will take that advantage, and we will be plunged further down the ladder into third world status or worse, war famine, slavery and destruction. We cant build on the present negative, its already dying, we will have to build on a positive, or it will be worthless.

                  I dont believe we have the choice anymore. We change now while we still can, or we decline and fall.

                  The time is now, while we still can.

                  Win win. Or lose lose. In any event, we try or we die.

                • Well, PhilC, to sell something you need a customer who will buy! “Build it and they will come” was a fantasy.

                  Yes, there will be some, but a high volume? Not too sure about that.

                  There is already the existing situation where UK hands out money, the money gets channeled into a fleet of limos-and they are Mercs. Thanks very much UK, but we make our own decisions.

                  Then there is the competition from China, who will say we can supply you with a nice cheap coal fired power station and build it for you so you can utilise your own coal, and supply us with some at the same time and earn some currency. Now, that wouldn’t happen? Yes, it already is.

                  So, one big influence against one small one. And, probably within the next decade, more than one big one. The maths again.

                  Maybe send a gun boat? Well, by the time it sailed there, (literally) it would all be academic.

                  Maybe USA will have more power of persuasion? If it was not Biden, maybe, but he has enough trouble leading his dog let alone the world.

                  And whilst all that is going on, Joe public will be saying more and more, there is no common sense to the approach so we shall opt out-as they did in France. Even in UK the dieselgate nonsense has produced more than a few sceptics. And more are there from other such wonders. The “we are right, you are wrong, but we will impose it on you” may work in China, and a few other places, but not in a democracy. And then blaming the you are wrong gang when it does go pear shaped is easy but it will be incorrect. The fault will lie with the “we are right and will impose it on you” lot. Hence my general term anti, because the logic of that is anti most previous human behaviour since democracies were developed.

                  Choosing to swim against the tide rather than using it’s power doesn’t usually make the most progress. But those that do, can keep on swimming and swimming and swimming and gain a lot of exercise. Chance of progress? Reduced.

                • I still dont see how your prevarication on that diversion from subject has anything to do with:-

                  Fracking fears hit public trust in climate technologies – study
                  By Ruth Hayhurst on March 10, 2021 • ( 27 Comments )

                  Public concerns about fracking have shaped opinion about new technologies regarded as vital to achieving UK climate targets, a new study has revealed.

                  So I suggest we return to the subject, enjoyable as such opinion diversions might be. Nothing is being agreed, so we agree to disagree.

                  These are the testing procedures that were carried out on the children in Pennsylvania, and perhaps it should be the same tests that should be carried out here in UK.

                  Extract From:-
                  “But They Told Us It Was Safe! Carbon Dioxide Removal, Fracking, and Ripple Effects in Risk Perceptions”
                  Emily Cox, Nick Pidgeon, Elspeth Spence
                  Risk Analysis
                  2 March 2021

                  “Air sampling tubes in glass vials. (Credit: Kristina Marusic for Environmental Health News)
                  EHN’s research is also unique in that we looked at more children than adults. Typically children haven’t engaged in any of the lifestyle behaviors that often lead to adults having high levels of unwanted chemicals in their bodies—smoking, drinking, varnishing floors, driving heavy machinery—so, in general, looking at children provides a clearer view of potential environmental exposures.
                  Preliminary data analyses indicate that among our study participants, living closer to fracking wells meant people were statistically more likely to have certain compounds in their urine. These included 1,2,3-trimethylbenzene, 2-heptanone, and naphthalene.
                  Exposure to these compounds is linked to skin, eye, and respiratory issues, gastrointestinal illness, liver problems, neurological issues, immune system and kidney damage, developmental issues, hormone disruption, and increased cancer risk.
                  Some chemical exposures aren’t detectable in urine if the body has already broken them down, so we also looked for breakdown products for harmful chemicals.
                  Certain biomarkers for industrial chemicals also showed up at higher levels in people who live closer to fracking wells, including 4-methylhippuric acid, which is produced when the body breaks down xylenes, and phenylglyoxylic acid, which is produced when the body breaks down ethylbenzene and styrene. Exposure to xylenes, ethylbenzene and styrene are linked to skin, eye, and respiratory issues, gastrointestinal illness, organ damage with chronic exposure, hormone disruption, and increased risk of cancer.”

                  And this a new film by Dane Wiggington of Geoengineeringwatch.org, which explores the deliberate pollution from aeroplane jet engines to geoengineer the climate as a military weapon and manipulate the climate for military reasons. The health implications of which are severe to say the least.

                  The Dimming, Full Length Climate Engineering Documentary ( Geoengineering Watch )

                  Have a nice climate.

                • Maybe not, Phil C, but I was responding to the point you made. That’s how it goes. You can disagree with a point I make, and I can do the same. Don’t want those one sided equations again, do we?

                  The exporting of technology to a market needs a ready market, as a first step.

                  As a second step, how much alternative technology in UK is actually UK’s to export, so far? Not a lot. I have mentioned several times that my local solar farm was built with imported labour and imported materials, and that is certainly not unique.

                  Now, these may be inconvenient issues but they are currently the reality. Yes, hopefully they will change, but that will take some time, and within the EU we wouldn’t even have been able to start that. The reality is that the UK movement to alternative energy sources, so far, has actually created a market for non UK suppliers, so movement to a level playing field will be needed first prior to all those export jobs and revenues. One bit is the reality, the other bit (currently) is spin. Maybe, UK will do things better this time, but many will remember the drive to diesel. Most of those “clean diesel” cars were imported, and were not clean, and much of the diesel was also imported-and still is! And, don’t get me started on wood pellets!

                  As I say, maybe UK will do it better this time, but whilst that reverse of the usual is being accomplished, then back to my desire for local sourcing to be expanded. It might fit nicely into encouraging local sourcing of alternative energy technology as well. I see the connection, can’t see the difference, but it seems some do not, although I have yet to spot a coherent argument as to why.

                  Anyway, weekend beckons. So have a good one whilst I attempt fence repairs to prevent the local deer undoing my recent gardening efforts.

                • So, it comes down to. I say Win Win. You say lose lose. I see a great future for UK and the world, and you dont.

                  I prefer a positive attitude. You prefer a negative attitude. Polar opposites.

                  Perhaps that is what its all about. Positive or negative? I ask myself which philosophy has produced the winners? Those who try? Or those who dont try? I think the tryers have it.

                  I’ll tell you what, I will do my best to help heal the planet, stop further climate and ecological destruction, and build a better future for all living things with the 7.5 million+ who protested worldwide, plus many many millions of others who could not attend. And you will do…….what?

                  I still say, we try or we die.

        • Hi Iaith1720, just a little research to open up the issue. I see that Ruth did an excellent summary and bullet pointed all the relevant sub headings, but there are those who just read the headline text and dont bother to read the summary that Ruth provided.
          So to put the text in the comments is just a way of pointing to the summary that Ruth already provided.

          Ruth provided the link to the entire document in the end of the text above. Worth reading through though its quite long.

          Which is:-

          https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/risa.13717

          The Damian Kahya text and links comes from the Greenpeace Unearthed site, you can request a daily message from Damian Kayha on their website and get it in your in-box. i just open up the heading links and post the full address. Just go to the Greenpeace Unearthed website and subscribe and you’ll get it in your inbox.

          https://unearthed.greenpeace.org

          There is also Desmog UK, who do a lot of investigative reports and many of the subjects on Drill or Drop are reported there. Worthwhile subscribing there too:-

          https://www.desmog.co.uk/frontpage_new_uk

          Have a great day Iaith1720

        • Funny isnt it Iaith1720? They cant bear anyone who opposes their views actually agreeing with eachother in conscutive posts. Look back at previous posts and you will see they always try to break up consecutive posts agreeing with eachother.

          Yet they often bolster up eachothers posts when they fail miserably to drown anyone out with silly posts?

          I suspect that is fear of letting anyone being seen to agree with eachother. Paranoia and the old divide and conquer isnt it. Standard fossil fuel industry tactics. There must be a bonus in the pipeline if they drown out all contrary posters with abject sillyness or attempts at changing the subject?

          A bit sad really.

          Have a great day….again…..

          • Agreeing with each other? You posted a series of links and copied text as I did. Nothing to agree on, just stuff to read. For paranoia read your last post again?

            • See what I mean Iaith1720? Transparent. Paranoia in every word. No agreement must be tolerated!

              Sad isnt it.

              • Getting back to the subject, there are perhaps more reasons why the public are concerned about fracking and its associated avoidances of the word. And that is the chemical pollution in peoples bodies that have been exposed to fracking in Pennsylvania USA.

                “EHN reporter Kristina Marusic and former Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project intern Mason Secreti prepare urine samples for shipment in the summer of 2019. (Credit: Connor Mulvaney for Environmental Health News)”

                https://www.ehn.org/fractured-series-fracking-data-2650699245.html

                “EHN’s research is also unique in that we looked at more children than adults. Typically children haven’t engaged in any of the lifestyle behaviors that often lead to adults having high levels of unwanted chemicals in their bodies—smoking, drinking, varnishing floors, driving heavy machinery—so, in general, looking at children provides a clearer view of potential environmental exposures.
                Preliminary data analyses indicate that among our study participants, living closer to fracking wells meant people were statistically more likely to have certain compounds in their urine. These included 1,2,3-trimethylbenzene, 2-heptanone, and naphthalene.
                Exposure to these compounds is linked to skin, eye, and respiratory issues, gastrointestinal illness, liver problems, neurological issues, immune system and kidney damage, developmental issues, hormone disruption, and increased cancer risk.
                Some chemical exposures aren’t detectable in urine if the body has already broken them down, so we also looked for breakdown products for harmful chemicals.
                Certain biomarkers for industrial chemicals also showed up at higher levels in people who live closer to fracking wells, including 4-methylhippuric acid, which is produced when the body breaks down xylenes, and phenylglyoxylic acid, which is produced when the body breaks down ethylbenzene and styrene. Exposure to xylenes, ethylbenzene and styrene are linked to skin, eye, and respiratory issues, gastrointestinal illness, organ damage with chronic exposure, hormone disruption, and increased risk of cancer.”

                So perhaps from that American data in Pennsylvania IN 2019, indicates another aspect that creates wariness of fracking in the UK and is foremost in peoples minds.

          • Very strange reaction from PhilC there!

            Firstly, there was no agreeing between each other at the time, other than the non antis, so any suspicion must have been clairvoyance in action. Timeline of posts can be checked, if required.

            Secondly, I, for one, welcome the attempts from PhilC to “drown out” with vast expanses of whatever-including the “valuable” information about the US President and Vice President being Communists!- with the usual vast expanse of corrections, but still leaving more incorrect “facts” than any other poster. The best advertisement for the antis there is-NOT. The more the merrier! But, if silly trophies are to be awarded, is the debate about opinions or facts? Or just a vehicle for trying to devalue alternative views without actually addressing the subject?

            I think I will stick to facts, and leave it to others whether they find them inconvenient, or silly.

            But, in respect of facts, then I do (now, 10.53am) agree with Paul. It is what is actually done (fact) rather than what is spun (often fantasy). China, indeed, has a very established record in this regard, so it should not be ignored just to make the maths. of agreements (often fantasy) add up to making a difference of significance against a difference that is insignificant. Perhaps take a look at todays news about Hong Kong if you find that silly.

            Off to prepare my French Bean trench. Can’t be having any of them flown in from Kenya-but, they will be. Back to the transport emissions. Sorry, 1720. Inconvenient, but not silly.

            • [Edited by moderator]

              You shouldnt bottle it all up guys. It’ll go off bang one day!

              That was fun!

              Talk about clearing the air?

              As always, the truth will out.

              Have a nice day.

              • And what is the alternative truth?

                Fantasy. (Figures!) Just like trying to maintain a modern economy entirely on renewable energy. Hence the need to try and present that modern economies should be scrapped. Attracts some more to the table, but with their issues they bring. Good luck with that, as the largest part of the world’s population desperately attempts to modernise their economies and laughs at the return to yurts in the UK!

                Have a nice day yourself, I was thinking of you as I prepared for more Cobras. (Before Paul is swung into action, Giggle climbing french bean varieties.)

                [Edited by moderator]

                Sorry, but reports from US leave me a bit unconvinced. I have noted quite a few reports about Trumps last impeachment, which I did watch due to lack of anything else worthwhile at the time. Seems the reports had very little to say about why the House Managers thought it was acceptable to tamper with the evidence they presented, even after they were caught doing it. Not excusing the Capitol Hill event, but found it strange that such could be done and then just accepted, and ignored from most reporting. Odd systems they have in US to demonstrate democracy.

                [Edited by moderator]

                • It was never about “alternative” truth Martin, it was about the real world truth. Not claims to represent the truth. But the truth itself. A rare commodity it seems.

                  Perhaps if the real world was more in evidence (not fantasy) then you wouldnt be so disconcerted at longer posts to explain it for you.

                  I dont believe I have ever said at any time that entire economies should be scrapped, the lock downs seem to be doing that all by itself.

                  Something that Priti Patel doesnt seem to want to acknowledge.

                  What I have always pointed out, is that if we dont do something about the climate and ecological and health effects resulting from the primary use of fossil fuels worldwide, that the main ones to suffer will be ourselves, the climate and the ecology worldwide. Without those worldwide gifts from nature, we are all just bones on a devastated planet. I dont see Mars as an Earth2 to run away to either.

                  We still have a chance to divert our attention to alternatives and change to renewable sources of energy and production where we can. Its not rocket science. Its a biological necessity.

                  It wont be easy, but desperately hanging on to old and failed systems, simply because they make money for greed and profit, are no longer able to be sustainable by the planet and by any economy, wherever that may be.

                  This government have admitted they no longer have a two year carbon reduction plan in place. There will be COP26 held in Glasgow this year. and what do we have to show for it? very little of any great worth. I wouldnt be at all surprised if the government suddenly declared it would not be possible to hold COP26 because they have so little to offer from the UK in the talks and are shutting down any peaceful protest that might emerge from COP26 in any case. how would that be recieved by the delegates I wonder?

                  Whether results of pollution exposure during fracking in USA has anything to say on similar exposure in the UK, wheter anyone has “convinced” or not, is the real world issue. Rather than diversions into USA election fraud or so called Capitol riots.

                  I wonder how that would go down worldwide?

                  As usual, always a pleasure!

                • Another something should be done!

                  There’s a pandemic of them.

                  Something is being done in this country and elsewhere, to a lesser extent. Many of the somethings I applaud. White goods and other such goods repairing is one of the latest.

                  Meanwhile, there are many somethings that could still be done very quickly, like local sourcing, other projects to reduce transport emissions, but there are small groups of somebodies who want to campaign against. Somebody might just start to think there are somebodies who don’t want progress because then there would be nothing to campaign against. (See the chats about hydrogen on this site as an example.) And, that is a real, factual risk, because a lot of somebodies are already coming to that conclusion. With a golden goose required, killing it off is not a solution.

                  Hmm, I see Paul has swung into action, whilst ignoring a call for mass breaking of the law, and the risk of a super spreader event, even on the day that the match at Liverpool has been highlighted as such. Sometimes the something is just incomprehensible, which I do then “occasionally” reference.

                  Longer posts are interesting for those who have the time, but do a bit of research into how quickly people come to a conclusion and there may be a message worth noting. Press releases are a particular challenge, but I did work with a lady who was extremely skilled at them, and I have never forgotten her “rules”.

                  And a few real world truths I could reference, but it seems that is more likely to be moderated, but you know what I mean.

                  Always a pleasure.

  2. It is the government and its regulatory agency knee jerk reaction to the anti fracking protest that create a perception of fear when experts say its risks are manageable. By placing a moratorium on fracking it enforced a public perception of fear on other similar critical technologies that have been safely managed. Playing to the hysteria of public fear by ignoring facts and evidence for political gain is what Trump did in the Capital Hill riot.

  3. I do agree, to an extent Tommie.

    What I find odd is that looking at geothermal energy there are serious issues in Germany, yet there are also strong public opinion drivers to expand. (Heaven knows what the PNR mob, and insurance companies, would make of the surface disruption, if they had the same experience as encountered in Germany!)

    Within the UK, surveys have shown the large majority are still not against fracking. Not saying the same number are for it, as there has been no economic output identified which is what would drive a positive stance. Based upon that, I would have to wonder regarding the selection of the focus groups within this “study”. Focus groups are notoriously suspect at representing the wider public. Based upon focus groups then we would continue to see Greta portrayed as a 11/12 year old within adverts. Certainly a market there to accept that, but I would question if that was the overall perception.

  4. Perhaps “communities should be given genuine voice in consultation over issues that affect them”.??

    Well, they are. However, there are limits upon that for very good reasons, because it is clear that many developments would find no home in any communities if that was not controlled. Please show me a community that would accept Travellers Sites on that basis, yet there are clear needs for them, so legislation is applied to support the rights of the Travellers as well. Exactly the same with wind turbines, and solar farms, most agricultural buildings and many housing developments. And, many more.

    So, why should it be different for fossil fuel related sites? The Wressle Appeal showed it isn’t, and the “genuine voice” (LOL) cost the rest of the community £400k. These genuine voices are not a guarantee of representing the community. Many in the communities are too busy to even notice what the genuine voices are saying, on their behalf (LOL), and it is too late if they do. I know of no one who finds the genuine voices within their communities represent what they think and expect, which is probably why such genuine voices get elected by a very few supporters. However, knowing all of that there are some who would like to play that system to impose their voice upon the community, and will even then make sure others in the community do not have a voice by controlling the information to the community. I am certain that is already familiar to many who take an interest.

    Nope. Incorporate the professional agencies to offer the professional advice to control that. But, more so, and more costs if that is ignored to stop it getting out of hand, and becoming a false and costly declaration of UDI.

    This is when “research” steps over into activism and is diminished as a result.

  5. I warned long ago that protestors/campaigners exaggerating risk would put fear into people about subsurface engineering. So now we have a very good peer reviewed publication acknowledging what I predicted. There is now a more difficult path to deliver underground energy storage, geothermal & carbon capture & storage, essential to deliver net Zero by 2050. see https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/sixth-carbon-budget/ . Not to mention the essential placing of our nuclear waste underground as a long term solution.

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